Biography

Julian Dawes was born in 1942. He began his musical training in Birmingham, continuing at the Royal College of Music in London. He has worked extensively as an accompanist and teacher, holding posts at Drama Centre London, Birmingham University, the The Arts Educational Schools in London, and The Oxford School of Drama.  He has directed the music for numerous theatre productions, and was for five years Musical Director of The Cherub Company London.

Theatre credits include Marya by Isaac Babel for the Royal Court, A Doll’s House by Ibsen and Don Perlimplin by Lorca for the Riverside Studios, The Royal Pardon by John Arden for the Arts Theatre, The Changeling by Middleton for a production in Sydney, Australia, and The Price by Arthur Miller for the Bristol Old Vic.  His scores for Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle and Edward ll are both recognised scores for these plays held by the Brecht Estate in Berlin and have provided the music for many productions. His musical The Braddocks Time was a commission from the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool, where it was followed by a tour of the north of England. The Sacrifice, a music drama based on a Japanese No play was initially premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, and in a revised version by The Acting Company at the New End Theatre.  As Musical Director of The Cherub Theatre Company he composed scores for The Tempest at the European Festival Antwerp, The Merchant of Venice at The Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, , Ten Days A-Maze at the Edinburgh Festival,  Edward II at the Battersea Arts Centre, and Kafka’s The Trial at the Riverside Studios.  He also composed a score for an adaptation of Twenty thousand leagues under the sea for the Watermill Theatre in Newbury

In the concert hall he has written a Mandolin Concerto, a commission from the International Music Competition for professional Mandolin players in Schweinfurt, Germany.  He has written a large number of sonatas and suites for a variety of combinations of instruments, as well as thirteen song-cycles including ‘Songs of Ashes’, a setting of fifteen poems by the Polish poet, Jerzy Ficowski, about the Holocaust.  This work has been broadcast in Israel four times.  His output also includes a wide range of other vocal, choral and chamber music.  His cantata ‘The Death of Moses’ for Narrator, Chorus and Chamber Ensemble, and  his Oratorio ‘Ruth’, for Soloists Chorus and Chamber Ensemble were both first performed in London by the Alyth Choral Society to high acclaim, as was also a recital featuring his chamber music at the Wigmore Hall.  In early 2012 a Sonata Album of his music was released on the Classics Omnibus Label and received critical acclaim.

He has recently completed a song cycle setting poems by William Blake for the Mezzo Soprano/Piano duo Martha Jones and Joseph Ramadan, a Sonatina for Recorder and Piano written for the young Israeli Recorder player, Inbar Solomon, a suite for Harpsichord a string quartet. He has also completed a new commission from the Alyth Choral Society for a setting of Shirat Hayam (The Song Of The Sea), the biblical song sung by Moses and the Children of Israel as they fled from the Egyptians across the Red Sea (The sea of Reeds) was first performed December 2013.  His Pesach Cantata will be premiered on the 10th April 2016.